In the wake of cities being wiped half from the face of the earth (and thousands of people being left behind to die, with many of them succeeding at that), one wonders what can be done to prepare for disasters. I don't mean to go looking for trouble before this one's over, but it's what I'm thinking about, and preparing can't be done too soon.

Really, though, Michigan is blessedly free of natural disasters (though at least one housemate would claim we experience one annually from November to April). Aside from the long disasters of sprawl, urban decay, deindustrialization, and concentrated poverty, if one can, this state doesn't have hurricanes, tsunami, earthquakes, forest fires, mudslides, Godzilla, or any of the other threats that other areas have to worry about. What I can think of to worry about seems much less worrisome: tornado, minor floods, blizzard/ice storm, electrical storm . . . most of which are pretty limited in either scale or area of impact. The worst case scenario here would seem to be blackout plus water main break in subzero weather, but that's still only a bit past "inconvenient" for those of us lucky enough to have solid houses and warm clothes.

What can be done to prepare for emergency, I suppose, and therefore should be done, includes, as a very quick first cut...

  • First aid training: the Red Cross' full Adult/Child/Infant CPR/First Aid course is $60, 9 hours, and taught weekly or thereabouts - a task for some Saturday after the wedding.

  • Drinkable water: a filter is on my list of backpacking hardware to acquire, but boiling is perfectly acceptable too, which brings up,
  • Cooking ability: my WhisperLite will run on white gas, kerosene, gasoline, or diesel (I need to get more Coleman Fuel before my next trip anyways) and is close at hand. (Ah, yuppie survivalism!)

  • Food, comma, non-spoiled: the house could probably go a week without much suffering on what we have on hand. We'd get sick of oatmeal after a while, but, wait, I eat it every day anyways. I don't know what the heat load of a 25# bag of flour in the chest freezer is; might want to put some frozen gallons of water in the bottom in case of power failure.
  • Candles, batteries/flashlights, blankets, all that standard stuff.
  • Transportation: spare tires and tubes for bikes might be a good idea.

Honestly, life is pretty easy when you're a 20-something without dependants. More ability to help others in time of need, I suppose.